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Ethics and Environmental Health

International Bans on Asbestos Use

1983: Iceland bans most types of asbestos, updated in 1996.
1984: Norway bans asbestos, with a few exceptions, updated in 1991
1986: Denmark bans chrysotile asbestos.
1986: Sweden introduces the first of a series of bans on chrysotile asbestos.
1988: Hungary bans amphibole asbestos.
1989: The United States bans asbestos, but the ban is overturned in 1991.
1989: Switzerland bans all types of asbestos.
1990: Austria bans chrysotile.
1991: Holland introduces a series of chrysotile bans.
1992: Finland introduces a phase out ban on chrysotile.
1992: Italy bans chrysotile.
1993: Germany bans chrysotile, having banned amphiboles earlier.
1993: Croatia bans crocidolite and amosite.
1995: Japan bans amphiboles.
1996: France upsets Canadian suppliers by banning chrysotile.
1997: Poland bans all asbestos.
1998: Belgium bans chrysotile.
1998: Saudi Arabia bans all asbestos.
1998: Lithuania issues a phase out ban culminating in 2004.
1999: The United Kingdom bans chrysotile.
2000: Ireland bans chrysotile.
2001: Brazil's four most populous states ban asbestos.
2001: Latvia bans asbestos.
2001: Chile bans asbestos.
2001: Argentina bans chrysotile; amphiboles banned in 2000.
2002: Spain and Luxembourg begin phase out ban
2002: New Zealand bans imports of raw asbestos.
2003: Australia asbestos ban takes effect.
2005: Hungary ban expected to take effect.
2005: European Union deadline for bans in Portugal and Greece.
2005: Slovak Republic, Croatia and Hungary expected to adopt EU asbestos ban.

Most of the bans include minor exceptions. For example, in Germany, chrysotile-containing diaphragms for chlorine-alkali electrolysis in already existing installations will be allowed until 2011.

For more information on international bans please link to the World Trade Organization Web site.

Photos courtesy of Dudley Dana, Dana Gallery